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Sunday, March 31, 2002
Craigs Corner 04/01/02 - 04/07/02
Thursday, April 4th, 2002
The Fergus Falls Dollars for Scholars will benefit from a fun Friday night of basketball at the Fergus Falls High School gymnasium.

The Fergus Falls Faculty will face the Fergus Falls High School Intramural All-Stars at seven o'clock Friday night. Tickets are four dollars for adults and two dollars for students. All proceeds will be donated to Fergus Falls Dollars for Scholars. Branch challenge matching funds will be available, dollar-for-dollar, up to $400 through the Lutheran Brotherhood Branch 8387. Half-time entertainment will be provided by the "Just for Kix Dancers".

The Fergus Falls Figure Skating Club Spring Ice Show is scheduled for three performances this weekend at the Fergus Falls Community Ice Arena. The shows will begin at seven p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and at two o'clock on Sunday afternoon. Tickets are five dollars for adults and three dollars for students.

"Stars & Stripes On Ice" is the title of the show. It is billed as follows: Join us as we show our pride in America and pay tribute to some of our local heros - our Veterans, Fire Department, Law Enforcement, National Guardsmen, Medical Personnel ... be patriotic and wear your red, white and blue!!! Over 100 skaters of all ages will participate, including featured skaters Taylor Lutzwick, Laura Schwarz, Darcy Olson and Danielle Ackerman.

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2002
Did you see that? Barry Bonds just homered again!! His second tonight, his fourth in two games and he still has at least two more at bats coming in this game.

What the man has accomplished last season and is now starting again this season, is nothing short of phenomenal. What happened to this four-time MVP who never hit more than 49 homers in a season until he socked 73 last year to set the all-time single season record?

Is it increased discipline at the plate, an improved ability to focus on each pitch, maturity, better physical conditioning, weaker pitching, or a combination of all of these elements? Probably a combination and I'm sure you can conjure up a couple of other reasons for his incredible power surge.

Bonds now has 571 career home runs. Two behind Harmon Killebrew for sixth place all time. Mark McGwire is fifth with 583 and Frank Robinson fourth with 586. Bonds will pass all of them this year, perhaps in April. By the All-Star break he'll be over 600 career homers, joining Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755) as the only players in major league history to hit over 600 dingers.

Digest this: dating back to last season, Bonds has homered in 7 of his last 14 at bats, all against the Dodgers.

What a couple of great wins for the Twins! The 8-6, five-homer, come from behind victory in the opener on Monday was a great way to start the season. Tonight, Eric Milton was brilliant through seven innings, allowing only two hits and issuing just one walk as they posted a 1-0 win. Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in as many opportunities. Luis Rivas left the game after being hit on the back of his left hand by a pitch in the fourth inning. Early word was a deep bruise ... let's hope that's all it is. Rivas is a key to the Twins season. Defense was outstanding tonight. Torii Hunter took a home run away from Mike Sweeney and Corey Koskie made two great plays at third. So far, so good! Now Joe Mays gets the ball. He had a tremendous spring and I would expect him to continue to pitch well in Toronto on Thursday.

The Fergus Falls Jaycees still have a few seats left for their Twins trip on April 21st. The Twins play the Cleveland Indians that day. Should be fun!! Call Kris at 736-7596 to sign up for the trip. The cost is just $30.00 for your ticket and the motorcoach transportation.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2002

Well, as an NCAA Tournament championship game, it wasn't one of the greatest! Both teams were surprisingly sloppy in Atlanta last night as Maryland beat Indiana.

The Terrapins were my pick to win it all at the start of the tourney and it's kind of fun to have that happen!! It was a very enjoyable tournament with some exciting games and some great upsets.

Talked to Ryan Hendrickson of the Otters at the boys basketball banquet last night and Ryan is going to attend Valley City State University next year. He'll be playing football and baseball. He'll be a tight end/wide receiver for the football team and a pitcher/first baseman in baseball. The official announcement will be made tomorrow morning.

Coach Schuler said the Minnesota Basketball Coaches are most likely going to vote in 18-minute halves for next season as opposed to 8 minute quarters. That will give coaches an extra four minutes of playing time in each half, making depth more of a key and allowing them to make more playing time available for more players. I think that would be a great move and Gary feels it's a done deal and it would be on a two-year experimental basis.

Monday, April 1st, 2002

It's finally here! My favorite day of the year. Opening Day on the Major League Baseball schedule. I love sports, but my number one love in sports is Baseball. Other sports begin their seasons, only baseball has an Opening Day.

Have you ever attended opening day at a ballpark? It's a great experience. It's like a celebration. The extended pregame festivities, the excitement of a clean slate for every team, the promises the new season holds for your favorite team, the electricity that fills the air as the tension builds leading up to the first pitch. There's nothing like it! I have had the opportunity to attend many opening day games in my life. In fact, since we moved back to Minnesota and since the Metrodome became home to the Twins in 1982, I have missed only 5 home openers. Not too bad. I'll be there on Friday night, April 12th when the first home game is played this year. I watched the season opener last night between Cleveland and Anaheim on ESPN 2 and will watch baseball all afternoon thanks to ESPN and some tonight, following the Otter boys basketball banquet and the NCAA Championship game.

Okay, whether you want them or not, here are my picks for division winners this year in the Majors.
AL CENTRAL-Minnesota
AL WEST-Oakland
AL EAST-New York
WILD CARD-Seattle
BEST OF THE REST-Texas
MOST IMPROVED TEAM-Detroit
NL CENTRAL-Houston
NL WEST-San Francisco
NL EAST-Atlanta
WILD CARD-Philadelphia
BEST OF THE REST-St. Louis
MOST IMPROVED TEAM-Los Angeles

Now, the NCAA Championship. What a great Cinderella story Indiana is. A number five seed, knocking off number one in the country, Duke, featuring the Player of the Year in college basketball and then knocking off another #1 seed, Oklahoma, featuring the Coach of the Year in college basketball. But, the Cinderella run of the Hoosiers will end tonight as Juan Dixon and his Maryland teammates have their way in Atlanta. Dixon has had an amazing season and a spectacular tournament. When it comes down to crunch time tonight, Dixon will be the difference. Maryland 73 Indiana 69. Enjoy it!
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, March 25, 2002
Craigs Corner 03/25/02 - 03/31/02
Friday, March 29th, 2002

Bud Selig has insulted the fans of Major League Baseball once again. Does he really think that we are so stupid? Baseball will never "get its house in order", as long as Selig wears the title of Commissioner.

Earlier this week, Selig made the statement "Our fans deserve to know that the 2002 season will be played to completion without interruption and they deserve to know that now before we begin the new season."

PLEASE! Here is what the fans deserve to know: Bud and the owners have no intention of negotiating a new work agreement in good faith. They have not even attempted to negotiate a new deal since the old one expired at the end of last years World Series. The pledge made by Selig to the fans has no validity at all. There would be no benefit to the owners to have any kind of a work stoppage during the 2002 season. Selig wants to put the players in a difficult position and he has. This was a calculated move on his part, designed to put players' union chief Don Fehr in an unfavorable position. If Fehr doesn't come out with a response that says the players agree not to strike, it looks like the players don't care about the fans. A strike during the season is the only source of leverage he has to pressure owners to negotiate. Once the season ends, there is no leverage for the players. The fact that there were no negotiations during the off season, and now the statement by Selig, shows the owners true colors. Rest assured, if the players don't strike at some point this season, the owners will implement a lockout following the World Series.

The unfortunate response, for the fans, is that the players are left without a choice. They will need to strike at some point this season. In 1994, baseball took a blow when the season was cancelled when the players walked out on August 12th. There was no World Series for the first time since 1904. The owners felt it, and both sides suffered. The fans suffered the most. This year, the players have an opportunity to hit Bud where it hurts! The All-Star game is being held in Milwaukee, the home of Selig's Brewers. Oh, I'm sorry, he has stepped aside as an owner to fill the office of Commissioner. RIGHT. If the players institute a work stoppage at the All-Star break, they may force the owners hand and a new agreement may be hammered out in a short period of time. More likely, a work stoppage at any time will end the season. I believe the owners are unified and ready for this to happen. I also believe that if push comes to shove, the players union will stand firm. Once again, the fans will lose as baseball plays it's games in the bargaining room not on the field.

Baseball does "need to get its house in order", and the cold, hard facts of the matter are that to do this, it's going to take an all out bargaining war that will almost certainly mean the end of baseball for part of this season and perhaps into next season. It could be Baseball's Last Stand. For the good of the game into the next generation, this needs to happen. It's very unfortunate that the two sides didn't force a bargaining session this off season. The players made a mistake by not forcing the issue over the past several months. I think they should have issued an ultimatum that said, "either we get a new collective bargaining agreement by the start of Spring Training, or we're not reporting until it's done." However, that would have made them look like the bad guys. In reality, the owners failure to address this issue during the off season, so the fans would be assured of baseball not only for this season but for years to come, shows you exactly where they stand, and it's not for assuring the fans that there will be no work stoppage initiated by the owners during the 2002 season. It's to make the players union look like the bad guys if they take the only leverage they have and walk out on the owners at some point during the season.

This is ugly ... and it's only going to get worse. When the players make the decision to stop the games, I hope they are determined to get a long term solution worked out. I hope chief among the issued negotiated is a new definition of the Commissioner's office and it's duties. The players need to have as much say in who is the Commissioner and what the functions of the office are, as the owners do. Until there is an individual in that position who truly cares about the integrity of the game and the well-being of its fans, baseball will always struggle. There are some tough questions that need to be answered. Revenue sharing, salary cap issues, free agency and salary arbitration requirements, contraction possibilities, all of which could have a severe impact on the future of the game we love so much. We need a commissioner who will lead with his love and respect for our national pastime and not let greed and power be the determining factor in what can and cannot be implemented in the solution to fix baseball.

Let's Play Ball!! The fans deserve better than what we are getting and what we are in for in the near future.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2002

Lyndsi Harworth could always hit the softball, and hit it she did over her last eight games, as she has been named the NSIC Player of the Week.

Harworth, a senior at Minnesota Duluth, averaged .423 (11-26) in eight games played last week. She scored eight runs, had one double and three home runs while collecting 10 RBI. The Bulldogs were 6-2 in those games and now 8-2 overall.

Aaron Olson continues his good start for the Mavericks at Minnesota State Mankato. The Mavs beat Washburn University 2-1 and 3-2 on Saturday, and beat Rockhurst University on Sunday 11-4 before losing to that same team 5-1. Aaron started one game as DH, one and 2nd base, one at 3rd base and did not play in the other one. He went 4 for 8 with 2 walks and scored twice. Mankato plays the Gophers on Wednesday night at the Metrodome. I'm planning on seeing that one and hopefully getting a picture of Aaron in action!

Monday, March 25th, 2002

What an incredible ending to the Tournament Players Championship! Craig Perks made some terrible decisions, hit some terrible shots, missed some short putts and then came up with some magnificent shots to win his first PGA Tour event.

People love to watch Tiger Woods. They love to watch him dominate a tournament, hold off a contender, or rally from several shots down on the final day to pull off an amazing victory. On Sunday, Tiger didn't have anything left in his tank and it came down to three no-names battling it out. Perks won the battle as Carl Paulson faded and Stephen Ames watched his clubhouse lead disappear during practice for a playoff that never materialized. Perks chipped in for Eagle at 16, drained a long birdie putt on 17 and then saved par with a chip-in with an exclamation point on 18.

For winning the event, Perks received $1,080,000.00, a five year PGA Tour exemption and a three year exemption to play the Masters April 11th through the 14th. (Check out Chris Wasberg's article on the Masters in our Blast From the Past segment, originally written two years ago, but still a great reminder of a great event).

Perks becomes the first player to win the Tournament Players Championship as his first tour victory. It was an amazing thing to watch! I can't wait for the Masters!!

Fergus Falls head hockey coach Brad Bergstrom coached three of his own players at the Great Eight tournament on Saturday and Sunday in the Twin Cities. Playing for the Section 4A-4AA team, Ryan Miller and Ben Larson each had a goal and an assist. The team finished 7th out of 8 teams, beating the 2A-3AA team 6-3 in their final game of the tournament. They lost a 4-1 decision to 7A-AA and a 5-2 game to 8A-8AAA. Goalie Tyler Nessplayed half of each game. Forward Ryan Kantrud, a team alternate, missed the tournament due to an illness.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, March 18, 2002
Craigs Corner 03/18/02 - 03/24/02
Saturday, March 23rd, 2002

A couple of thousand-point scorers in girls high school basketball from our area, will get an opportunity to show their basketball skills in the Minnesota Girls' Basketball All-Star games the first weekend in April.

Jess Holicky, the all-time scoring leader for Fergus Fall girls basketball, and Tori Ehlert, the MVP of the Little 8 Conference, have been selected to All-Star teams. Holicky will play for the Class 3A squad and Ehlert for the Class 1A team.

The games are set for Friday, April 5th, at the Hopkins Lindbergh Center and Saturday, April 6th, at St. Cloud State. Friday's contests will be played at six o'clock with Class 1A facing Class 2A and at eight p.m. for the Class 3A versus Class 4A game. Times on Saturday are three and five p.m. Tickets will be sold for six dollars for adults and three dollars for students.

Friday, March 22nd, 2002
March Madness is living up to its billing! Some great basketball games were played on Thursday night and I don't know anyone who didn't have Duke in their Final 4!

Indiana played a great second half and came back from a 13 point halftime deficit. After taking a four-point lead with 11.1 seconds to play they almost blew it by committing a foul on a 3-point field goal, but the Player of the Year, Jason Williams missed it. The upset of the tournament. Who ever would have thought that the Blue Devils would exit the tourney prior to the Elite Eight? Unthinkable!! It sure makes it interesting. Who is the favorite now? Maryland and Kansas certainly will be the most popular picks, but how can you overlook the way teams like the Hoosiers, Kent State (21 straight wins) and Missouri have been playing against some of the best teams in the country? This should be fun!!! We'll see if anyone else bites the dust tonight! Maryland is still my pick to win it all, but ya gotta love those Golden Flashes!

Not much excitement in the High School boys basketball tournaments. All four semifinal games on Thursday were decided by double digits. From what I saw, Patrick Henry is going to be tough to beat in 3A and Hopkins will have a definite edge in 4A. Hope the Class A and 2A semi's are better.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2002
Forty-seven Special Olympics Athletes will be participating in a Special Olympics basketball event on Thursday beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the Fergus Falls Middle School new gymnasium.

The majority of the kids are from Fergus Falls, but students from Moorhead and Pelican Rapids will also be involved. Kids on the Fergus Falls team also come from Underwood, Battle Lake, Ashby, West Central Area and Campbell. The event begins with the Opening Ceremonies at nine o'clock. Individual skills will be featured as well as a team event between Fergus Falls and Pelican Rapids. All participants will receive ribbons and the public is welcome to attend this event.

Barb Gutzmer coordinates the Fergus Falls Special Olympics program. You can bet they are very excited about their big day on Thursday. I hope a lot of you can break away from work for an hour or two to show your support.

Tuesday, March 19th, 2002

Opening Day will be here in less than two weeks!! Twins fans are excited! In fact, the Fergus Falls Jaycees are getting an early start on the season by taking a bus trip to the Twins game against Cleveland on April 21st!

The game will begin at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, April 21st at the Metrodome. The bus leave from the FFCC Library Parking Lot at 8:30 a.m. and the cost is $30.00 per person. The price includes an Upper Club Level Ticket and a comfortable motor coach bus ride.

You can sign up for the Fergus Falls Jaycees Minnesota Twins Bus Trip by calling Kris at 736-7596 or 731-7573. Please register by April 1st. Money raised from this Jaycees Fundraiser will help sponsor upcoming community events. So, come on Twins fans!! Sign up Today!!


Monday, March 18th, 2002

Aaron Olson has started the college baseball season in good fashion. Minnesota State, Mankato, just completed a seven game trip to Texas, where they won 3 and lost 4 against some tough competition.

Aaron started six of the seven games played in Texas and collected nine hits in 24 at bats. He scored seven runs, walked four times and had one homer. Aaron played third base for the Mavericks of five of the games and was the DH in the other game he started.

Minnesota State, Mankato will go to Kansas City this weekend for four games, two with Washburn University and two with Rockhurst University.

Fergus Falls sophomore goaltender Clay Nestor and sophomore forward Kyle Rohlfs were recently nominated for the Select 16 tryouts held at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Nestor was chosen as one of the two goalies and Rohlfs was chosen as a forward for the Select team for Section 4A and 4AA. Their team is made up from high school players representing 18 schools, including Class AA programs like Anoka, Blaine, Elk River, Robbinsdale Armstrong and Cooper, Maple Grove, and Class A programs like Little Falls and Willmar.

The Select program is an opportunity for Minnesota to present some of its finest young hockey players, in an advanced level of national and international competition. Players from all eight sections in the state of Minnesota will compete in a state tournament April 5th through April 7th in Plymouth. From this tournament, 51 players will advance from the 160 participating, to a USA National tournament to be held in late April.

Nestor, Rohlfs and other Select team members will be evaluated by coaches and scout from North American Colleges, Universities and Junior Leagues. This opportunity is done under the joint auspices of USA Hockey, Minnesota Hockey and the Minnesota High School Coaches Association.

Brad Bergstrom and Larry Goos will be the coaches of the Section 4A-4AA team. Bergstrom is also coaching the 4A-4AA team that will participate in the Great 8 Tournament this weekend in St. Paul. The team features Fergus Falls seniors Ryan Miller, Ben Larson and Tyler Ness, with Ryan Kantrud listed as an alternate.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, March 11, 2002
Craigs Corner 03/11/02 - /03/17/02
Saturday, March 16th, 2002
Former Ashby boys basketball coach Dave Nelson, the current coach at Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg High School in North Dakota, has his team in the Class B State Championship game.

Nelson's Patriots knocked off the top ranked team from Dickinson-Trinity in Thursday's first round action and then beat Wells County 60-41 in the semi's on Friday. With those two wins, M-P-C-G advances to the title game against Berthold on Saturday night. Nelson's son, Craig Nelson, is a guard for the Pats. He scored 16 points in the semifinal victory. The two wins have extended the team's winning streak to 21 straight. Their record is 25-2.

Coach Nelson also guided the Patriots girls basketball team to their state tournament this past fall, where they placed fourth.

Nelson also coached football and golf when he was at Ashby High School.

Tyson Bjorklund, son of former Otter boys basketball coach Bob Bjorklund and his wife, Carol, will experience playing in a state tournament. Tyson, a senior guard for Mounds View High School, helped his team to the Section 6AAAA championship. They beat White Bear Lake 62-50 in the title game.

The winner of Saturday's Hillcrest versus Ortonville game will face Red Lake on Tuesday at Concordia College in the quarterfinal round of the Class A State Tournament. Red Lake won the Section 8A title with a 67-56 win over Stephen-Argyle on Friday night. The Comets beat Red Lake in the quarters three seasons ago.

Lynn Peterson's Staples-Motley Cardinals came up short on Friday night at Concordia, falling to Bagley 57-45 in the Section 8AA championship game.

Chuck Gulsvig saw his Moorhead Spuds boys basketball team qualify for the State AAAA Tournament with a three-point win over Elk River.

Sunday marks the final day of youth hockey for the 2001-2002 season in Fergus Falls. The annual House League championship event, also known as "SUPER SUNDAY", will face off beginning at noon with the first of seven championship games in the termite, mite and squirt leagues. Peg Access Channel 8 will be videotaping the games and will play them back several times over the next few weeks.

Thursday, March 14th, 2002
The honors keep coming for coaches and players from around our area. Four Otter hockey players have been selected to the 4A-4AA roster for the Great 8 Tournament.

Otter seniors Tyler Ness (Goalie), Ben Larson (Defense) and Ryan Miller (Forward), are all on the active roster for the event March 22nd through the 24th at the Wakota Arena in South St. Paul. Forward Ryan Kantrud was listed as an alternate.

The Great 8 pairs an A section with a AA section, combining seniors from the two classes into an all-star team. The 4A-4AA team will open play at 8:30 on March 22nd against the 7A-7AA all-stars.

Fergus Falls High School graduate Jim MacFarlane, was honored for the second straight year as the Section 8 girls hockey coach of the year. Moorhead's Dave Morinville won the award in boys Section 8AA and his assistant Terry Shercliffe was named the sections assistant coach of the year.

Battle Lake girls basketball coach Mike McCarney was selected for the second year in a row as Section 5A girls basketball coach of the year. His team was 23-3 and finished as Little 8 Conference champs, Section 5A North champions and runners-up to Hancock in the Section 5A championship game. Battle Lake assistant Dave Marso shared the assistant coach of the year honors with John Klassey of Parkers Prairie and John Stigman of Osakis.

Tuesday, March 12th, 2002
Kent Bothwell has his FFCC baseball team in sunny California this week, where they are pursuing an aggressive schedule or games and other activities.

The Spartans started the week with a practice upon their arrival at the Golden West Community College baseball field on Monday. Today they were scheduled to play their first game of the trip, takinig on Antelope Valley Community College. On Wednesday, the team will be in attendance at a game between Cal State-Fullerton and Loyola Marymount. Thursday's schedule calls for a game against Golden West Community College and on Friday, their final day in California, the Spartans will face Citrus Community College.

Coach Bothwell and the team are staying at the Anaheim Ramada Inn and will be hearing from sports psychologist Ken Ravizza while the team is on their Spring Training trip. The Spartans have been working hard with numerous fund raisers during the school year to raise the money for this trip. Coach Bothwell has made the California trip an annual event for his team.

The Spartans will open the season with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 23rd at Anoka against Anoka-Ramsey.

Monday, March 11th, 2002

Doug Dufty, a 1963 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame over the weekend. Doug was an outstanding wrestler through college and wrestling coach at the collegiate level.

Dufty was a four time District 23 champion and two-time Region 6 champion while in high school, qualifying four times for the individual state tournament. He placed fourth in the state meet in 1963 at 127 pounds and recorded a high school career record of 99-15-2.

Following high school, Doug went on to Concordia College to wrestle under Coach Finn Grinnaker, posting an 80-8-3 record on the way to four MIAC individual wrestling titles. He was named the outstanding wrestler in the conference in 1967.

After graduation, Doug served two years as an assistant wrestling coach under Warren Williamson at South Dakota State University. He became the head wrestling coache at the University of Minnesota, Morris in 1969.
During his 11 years as a head coach, Doug's teams had 100 dual wins, 3 NIC Championships and four top 10 finishes in the NCAA Division III Nationial Wrestling Championships.

Those years produced three NCAA Division III National Champions as well as seventeen NCAA All Americans, of which two went on to be members of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling team. Dennis Koslowski was an Olympic Greco Roman Silver Medalist. The conference coaches honored Doug twice as NIC Coach of the Year. In 1981, Doug's last year of coaching, the coaches voted him the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year.

After coaching, Dufty served many years as a wrestling rules clinician for the Minnesota State High School League. He continues to officiate the sport at both the high school and collegiate levels.

Doug resides in Fargo, North Dakota with his wife, Karen. He has two adult children, Paula Smith (Tim) of Minneapolis and Jay of Potomac, Maryland.

Senior Jen Glesne of Underwood, is going to attend Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin next year. Jen, a captain for the Rockets state tournament volleyball team will be studying to become an athletic trainer and is hoping to participate in volleyball. Carthage is a Division III School. Their mens basketball team just eliminated Gustavus-Adolphus, where former Otter David Newell plays, in the first round of the Division III Mens Tournament, 71-65.

Posted By Craig Olson
Sunday, March 3, 2002
Craigs Corner 03/04/02 - 03/10/02
Saturday, March 9th, 2002
Put a hold on March Madness! The only way you can slow down tournament time is when Mother Nature steps in. Today, she stepped in big time!

Several games fell victim to the weather and have now been rescheduled for early next week. I'm going to try to spell it all out for you, hopefully making it easier for you to get a grip on what's happening when and where.

In Section 5A, the four quarterfinal round games were slated to be played at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood on Saturday. Two games in the afternoon and two games at night. The rescheduled situation looks like this: On Monday night, in Sauk Centre, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy will square off against Brandon-Evansville at six p.m., followed by Henning and Bertha-Hewitt at 7:30. At the same times, in Glenwood, Ortonville will face Hancock and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa tangles with Chokio-Alberta. The semi's are Tuesday at UMM-Morris with the title match set for Thursday at UMM.

In Section 8AA, the quarterfinal round games in the South bracket at Wadena-Deer Creek High School, have been moved to Monday night with Perham facing Staples-Motley at 7:00 p.m. and West Central Area taking on Pelican Rapids at 8:30 p.m.
The North half of the bracket will play their semi's at Hawley with Bagley going up against Crookston at seven and D-G-F matching up with Warroad. Winners move on to Concordia College in Moorhead on Thursday for the semifinal round.

In Section 8AAA, Fergus Falls and Alexandria were to meet at St. Cloud Apollo Saturday night, but that game has been moved to Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at Wadena. The Detroit Lakes versus Little Falls game will be played at eight o'clock Tuesday in Wadena. The reason for the time gap is township election night. Everyone must be given a block of time which enables them to get out and vote. No game can begin between six and eight o'clock, so the Little Falls - DL game will actually start at 8:01 p.m. The winners will clash at SCSU on Thursday night at eight o'clock for the title.

In Section 6A, at Concordia College in Moorhead, all four games have been moved to Monday night. The Norman County East - Lake Park-Audubon game will begin at three o'clock followed at 4:30 by Mahnomen and Ulen-Hitterdal. The night session starts at seven p.m. with Hawley taking on Park Christian and concludes with the 8:30 p.m. game between New Yok Mills.

Fosston got beat! Their nearly 80 game (I forget the actual total) winning streak came to an end at the hands of Kittson County Central on Friday night in the Section 8A championship game, 63-58. That means Hancock will play Kittson County Central in the state quarterfinals at Concordia on Tuesday.

Friday, March 8th, 2002
It's that time of year! March Madness! It is definitely here! High School tournament action abounds! Sleep is at a premium! Trying to keep up with everything is a major challenge!!

The NCAA tournament field will be announced Friday. I'm hoping the Gophers finish strong enough to get a bid. An automatic bid would be great, but that would mean the Big Ten Tournament championship. Possible but not probable.

I've already seen some great high school tourney action and there's more to come. Big win for the Otter boys at Rocori on Thursday night. West Central Area's teams are both playing well, but Kraig Hunter's guys haven't been able to figure out Brad Strand's Pelican Rapids guys in two previous meetings this season. That's my pick for game of the weekend, along with Fergus Falls and Alexandria. Both games on Saturday night, losers go home. Should be exciting! Be sure to check the Lakes Radio Broadcast Schedule for the games on the radio!

Otter hockey fans are encouraged to show your Maroon and Gold when you attend the welcome home ceremony for the boys hockey team at two o'clock Sunday afternoon at the FFHS gymnasium. A tough loss in the semi's for the Otters, who will fight for third place on Saturday morning at nine o'clock.

Tuesday, March 5th, 2002

Post season awards are starting to roll in for players and coaches as the winter sports season starts to wind down.

Fergus Falls head girls basketball coach Dave Rund was voted Section 8AAA Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches and Kevin Pearson was named the Assistant Coach of the Year in Section 8AAA. Both coaches receive the honor in a year which saw their team put together a school record 13 game winning streak, an 18-6 overall record and a top seed in the Section.

Naomi Moerke of the Lady Spartans has been named to the All-Region XIII team in Division III NJCAA Ladies Basketball. Moerke was also named All-Northern Division first team and All-State. The West Central Area High School graduate and captain of the Lady Spartans is an All-American Candidate at the Division III level. Moerke averaged over 18 points a game for the Spartans and was one of the top 3-point shooters in the Region.

Northland won the MCCC State Women's Basketball Championship, beating Ridgewater 57-52 in the title game. Ridgewater will host Madison Tech in the Region 13A playoffs while Northland hosts Vermilion in Region 13B playoff action.

Luke Hansen of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and Ben Reimers of Chokio-Alberta were the only two 9-man players selected to the Minnesota Outstate Football team. The two will play in the game on June 29th at Macalester College in Minneapolis. Other members of the team include Moorhead's Seth Griffin, Reed Manke of Detroit Lakes, Ben Aakre of Hawley, Jared Miller of Alexandria, Pete Ross or Ortonville and Robert Lutgen of Rocori High School.

Leah Graff of the Fergus Falls girls hockey team participated in the Maroon and Gold hockey series over the weekend at Blaine's super rink. In four games, Graff scored one goal. She was one of 68 seniors selected to play on one of the four teams involved in the event. Her team finished third in the round robin event. Graff led the Otters in goals scored with 17 and was second in total points with 20. Sarah Tuel, a junior, was the leading scorer with 22 points on 8 goals and 14 assists.

Monday, March 4th, 2002

A tough weekend if you're a Fergus Falls basketball booster. First the Spartans dropped two at the MCCC State Tournament, then the Otter girls lost to Alexandria on Saturday night, ending one of their greatest seasons ever.

Never thought I'd see it happen. A Dave Retzlaff coached team loses 7 in a row to finish with a 13-13 season record. Couldn't have convinced me that would ever be the case, but that's what has unfolded over the past few weeks. Since their emotional loss to Vermilion at home, the day after an emotional win over then top-ranked Mesabi, FFCC's Mens Basketball team has just flat out struggled. They haven't been playing as a team, and just have been in a funk. Certainly, they were in most of the games they were involved in, only the NDSCS game and the second Central Lakes game were out of reach, but they just lacked that spark, that confidence, that edge that we are used to seeing.

By the way, Minneapolis beat Vermilion 90-71 to claim the state title. Mesabi Range took third place with an 86-76 win over Anoka-Ramsey and Rochester beat Central Lakes 101-91 for the consolation title. Minneapolis will host the Region XIII Tournament next weekend with Vermilion, Mesabi Range and the Wisconsin champion all competing for the right to go to the NJCAA Division III National Tournament.


The Otter girls basketball season is over. What a tremendous year. What a fun, unselfish team to watch! Their thirteen game winning streak was one for the ages. They pulled off some astounding wins during that stretch. Wins that they never could have achieved a year ago. This team really came a long way this season. They really believed in themselves and in what they were doing out on the court. Coaches talk about buying into their system ... well, I think that's exactly what the Otter girls did. They excelled defensively, outworked their opponents consistently and overcame all odds to get the number one seed in Sectin 8AAA. From 5-5 early in January to 18-5 heading into Saturday's contest with Alexandria. WOW!

The Seniors deserve a lot of the credit. Jess Holicky is truly an amazing athlete. She can do it all. Section coaches will all be breathing a sigh of relief now that her career is over and Dave Rund will be shedding some tears. The great thing about Jess is that she is a total team player. She makes the people around her better and she loves to assist a teammate on a basket as much as make one herself. The Otters have had some good leaders and some good ballhandlers throughout the years, but Holicky is among the top players to ever wear an Otter girls basketball uniform. I think she'd look great in blue and gold don't you?

Same for Katie Hall and Danni Matthews, the other two senior starters on this team. Katie only knows one way to play the game ... as hard as she can at all times. Her defense is phenomenal and can she shoot the ball?!?!?! Was it her sophomore year when she nailed six 3's in the second quarter of a game? Or was she just a freshman? Whenever it was, it was one of the truly amazing individual feats I've seen in high school basketball. What heart and determination she has, and what a perfect compliment to Holicky on the court.

Danni, like the other two senior starters is a gym rat. She has always loved to play the game and she even played it through several injuries over her varsity career. What she may have lacked in offensive ability, she made up for in her work ethic and desire. If hustle scored points, she'd be up there with Jess! She was always good for six to ten points (sometimes higher) per night, and about a half dozen rebounds. The amazing thing about Danni is her ability to get the loose balls. If there is a loose ball in her vicinity, it's hers. She will find a way to get it and to give her team possession. I hope she continues to play this game because she plays it the way it's supposed to be played! Repeat after me ... Blue and Gold ... Blue and Gold. You get the picture.

Finally, the fourth senior, and the only senior who wasn't a starter and actually got very little playing time, Joanna Erlandson. You talk about support systems. Joanna is one all by herself!! She is the ultimate teammate. Always positive, always trying to boost people up and always seeming to find the fun part of anything she's involved in. Weeding a garden but be fun if Joanna is involved! If you look up team spirit in the dictionary ... you guessed it, you'll see Joanna's picture.

Congratulations to Coaches Rund, Abrahams, Pearson, Greenagel and Rostad on a great girls basketball season. I wish we could have seen this group play four more times. They deserved to be there, but give Wendy Kohler's Alexandria Cardinals credit. They played the Otters tough on Saturday night. It was a classic playoff showdown.
Posted By Craig Olson
Lake Region Healthcare
Cline Jensen P.A.
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